You’re Doing It Wrong: The 3 Biggest Mistakes You’re Probably Making in Your Application Essays

By: Michael Noltemeyer, North Star Editing

Writing an application is like being trapped in a choose-your-own-adventure story that someone else is reading: your fate lies in the hands of your audience.

Problem is, most applicants don’t understand what their audience wants.

I don’t make that claim lightly. Over the last ten years, I’ve read literally thousands of personal statements and statements of purpose and everything in between.

That’s why I’m confident when I say you’re probably making at least one of these three mistakes I see on almost every essay that comes my way.

1. Thinking Your Essays Don’t Matter

Consider these figures from 2017:

Competition for Ivy League spots is so fierce that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford could each rescind their offers of admission to every student they have already accepted, choose another freshman class of the same size, and suffer no statistical drop-off.

In fact, they could probably do that...

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Tips for 3 Common MBA Interview Questions

admissions mba Feb 27, 2019

Interview season is here for Round 2 MBA applicants, and we thought you'd benefit from these helpful tips from Stacy Blackman of Stacy Blackman Consulting about how to answer three of the most common interview questions you're likely to encounter.

1. Tell me about yourself.

Our first piece of advice: don’t go on and on. It’s easy to do when you’ve been asked such an open-ended question, so make sure you practice your response out loud a few times. There’s no need to recite your life story — talking about where you were born, your family, or your childhood is not what they’re looking for here.

We recommend approaching this question as if they’d asked you to walk them through your resume: quickly summarize the highlights of your college years and then move on to your professional career. Explain why you took the roles you did, what your main responsibilities were, and what you enjoyed or took away from each position. If you’ve...

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